Catwalk! Couple to sell home transformed into cat playground

  • Slideshow Photos

    America’s most famous cat haven is for sale

    Bob Walker and Frances Mooney's home may look ordinary from the outside, but inside it's a veritable cat adventure park.

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    America’s most famous cat haven -

    This unique suburban home in San Diego is an address that every cat would love to pounce on and claim as her own territory.

    Photographer Bob Walker and his artist wife Frances Mooney transformed their home into this architectural playground for their 10 cats.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Ordinary outside -

    It may look ordinary from the outside, but this house is a veritable feline adventure park — with floor-to-ceiling scratching columns along with ramps and stairs leading to 140 feet of elevated walkways, snooze zones and hidey-holes.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Kitties in command -

    Walker and Mooney initially added these details to their home to give their cats somewhere to play so they could reclaim their couch.

    The couple went on to fill their home with a superb collection of feline art and artifacts both big and small.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Pretty on pink -

    The couple’s creativity spawned a book, “The Cats' House,” and TV crews from around the world came to film the location. The home also caught the attention of feline behaviorists who saw it as a way to give indoor cats both mental and physical stimulation.

    The architecture lets cats do what they love best: Climb up high and watch over their people.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Blank canvas -

    Walker, Mooney and their group of cats (or clowder, to use the technical term) are moving to Washington D.C., where they'll replicate their amazing house. To prep their home for sale, they painted over its 42 colors in white, hoping to please prospective new owners.

    “This will give the next feline-loving occupants the opportunity to create their own territory from scratch,” Walker told TODAY.com.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Peek-a-boo -

    The couple has been hailed as the pawfathers of the "feline enrichment movement," as many in the pet industry claim they are responsible for much of the cat furniture and home accessories now manufactured commercially and found in many homes around the world.

    “If you’re trying it at home, remember to make wall holes large enough for ‘big-boned’ cats to be able to fit through,” cautions Walker.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Colossal cat scratcher -

    This floor-to-ceiling scratching column consists of 395 feet of pink-dyed sisal and is connected to a wall-to-wall beam just below the ceiling.

    From a human perspective, the column is a divider between the living room and the dining room, but from a cat's point of view, it’s a launching pad to an overhead fun zone.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Kitty collage -

    Frances Mooney cut up old copies of Cat Fancy magazine, added a high gloss sealer and turned her kitchen floor into a collage.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Bridging beams -

    Beams run through the house, linking up hidey-holes and cat-shaped gaps so the animals can pick up speed and run from room to room.

    Bob Walker Photography
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    Bedroom bridge -

    Walker likes to remind would-be cat transit architects that not all felines are agile. “Take cognizance of your cat’s needs; staircases are great for youngsters but elderly cats prefer ramps,” he said.

    Bob Walker Photography

When photographer Bob Walker and his wife Frances Mooney moved into their San Diego home in 1986, they decided to fix it up — for their 10 cats.

Over the years, the couple has constructed a floor-to-ceiling scratching post, complete with connecting beams that allow their cats to wander and play throughout most of the house. And the cats immediately took to their new setup, preferring their private playground above to the floor below.

Now Walker and Mooney are moving on from the home they've constructed for their cats, leaving behind the colorful beams and bars for a new abode in Washington, D.C., that will someday contain similar catwalks.

In light of the move, they've repainted the formerly bright house back to neutral white, but the structures remain intact, just waiting for a new brood to start scratching, clawing and climbing them.

See images of the cat house here.

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